Back in May, I began studying Hap Ki Do, a Korean form of Martial Arts.
In July, I earned my White Belt.
Yeah, it wasn’t given to me, I had to earn it. Which meant, I had to stand at the back of the class with the other “No Belts” and train while the higher ranked students, most of them younger than me, practiced techniques with grace, speed, power, and varying degrees of colored belts around their waist.
In a Martial Arts class, if looking down at your unadorned waist isn’t enough to motivate you, nothing will. I mean, you stand out like a knife in the back. Of course, getting that belt comes with a price.
You must push your entire body until it asks you “Dude, what are we doing?”.
Sweat until you look like you jumped in a pool fully clothed.
Try to do techniques, that after you see them demonstrated, make you smile and say to yourself “…yeah, um…yeah.”
You get tossed about and thrown to the ground to learn how to take a fall, etc…
But if you can conquer your doubting mind and whining body, both screaming for you to STOP!, the pay off is more than worth it.
Now, I’m stronger, faster, I have more endurance, more flexibility, and have some of the know-how and skills to perform techniques that I once could only marvel at while watching Martial Arts films. Obviously, I don’t know it all, but even the little you learn as a White Belt makes you go “…WOW!”.
I’m a person fascinated by how things work, the science behind a process, and the Martial Arts are full of science, amazing science. Using Speed, momentum, leverage, and the body’s natural pressure points and ranges of motion for and against itself, has given birth to the creation of countless self-defense techniques that any man, woman, and child can learn to protect themselves and their loved ones.
And as it’s been said before “With great power, come great responsibility” learning a Martial Art is not just about building yourself physically, it’s also about building yourself mentally. Hap Ki Do puts a great emphasis on developing confidence in yourself and a High Quality Personality. It encompasses such ideas as developing wisdom, being loyal to your country, honoring your parents, loving your spouse, raising your children through example, cooperating with your siblings, and being faithful to your friends.
There are many other ideals and philosophies pertaining not to just understanding and interacting with people, but with the world as a whole.
Outside of developing a relationship with God, studying a form of martial arts is one of the best decision’s I’ve ever made. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and your way of thinking. It gets you out of your comfort zone and forces you to learn, adapt, and challenge whatever new “zones” you may find yourself in.
Last Tuesday, my Instructor informed me that I’m up to test for my next belt (yellow) very soon. So, you know what that means. Even more training and studying. It’s not just a physical test, but a verbal test as well.